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9. Troubleshooting

Here is a list of things to check when nothing is working. Unfortunately, it is not very complete listing. If you've got suggestions for things to add, please

9.1 Proper etc/fstab

Be sure to check the etc/fstab file in your new disk image before shutting down and trying to boot it for the first time. The default file might not be applicable to the way you've partitioned your disk. Make sure that there are entries for only those partitions you actually use. Comment out any /dev/hdXY lines if you don't need them.

Also, make sure that the root device is properly specified. The root device is the line whose mountpoint (second column) is simply `/'. Make sure that the device name immediately to the left of it actually is the partition where you've installed the disk image. This should be the same value that you put into the rootdev parameter in the firmware.

9.2 Delete etc/mtab

If there is a file called etc/mtab in your newly installed image, delete it. This is used to cache the actual mounted filesystems (it looks much like /etc/fstab). The system will re-create a proper file when it needs one. Having an old version of mtab around can prevent the machine from booting.

9.3 Mountpoints for /proc, /mnt

Sometimes the mountpoints don't get included in a disk image. Fix this by going to the root directory of the new image and running the following commands.

        mkdir proc
        mkdir mnt
        mkdir mnt/hda1
        mkdir mnt/hda2
        mkdir mnt/hda3

9.4 Unable to open initial console!

When booting a 2.2.x kernel on a disk image designed for 2.0, you may encounter the message `Unable to open initial console' shortly afteer the kernel boots. The solution is pretty simple, you have to create a /dev/console entry in your NFS disk image. Either of the following two command can be used; the first one is preferred:

        mknod /dev/console c 5 1
        ln -s tty0 /dev/console

Keep in mind you want to create the node in the NFS image that's exported to your NetWinder for booting, as opposed to the root filesystem of your NFS server. So you should really say /path_to_nfs/dev/console instead of /dev/console.

9.5 couldn't mount because of unsupported optional features

If you're getting this error whey you try to boot your newly installed system, then the problem is that you used a new version of mke2fs and it has turned on some new features, which the NetWinder firmware does not understand. Until the firmware is fixed, the solution is to use mke2fs -O sparse_super /dev/hdaX when you format your filesystem. It may also be possibly to change this after-the-fact with the tune2fs program, but I've not tried it.

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